Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. It's a journal of sorts. It gives me a place to show my work-in-progress for my painting and photography. Comments are welcome --- add one at the end of an entry or email me at BarbBlumer@gmail.com.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Photographs are Memory Vessels


It has been a long of week.  I have been going through my files selecting, and re-selecting, images for my upcoming photography exhibit, The Observer.  Over and over.  Putting some in and then taking some out.  Editing is hard.  Very hard.

Because photographs are memory vessels, it is challenging to find images that connect with viewer, independent of my own experience.

What do I mean by this?  Well, think about it, photographs trigger memories for us:  not only what we are seeing in the photograph, but where we were when it was taken, our feelings about the experience, that time period, etc. 

We like seeing images of our own experiences, but think about how boring it is to see someone else's family vacation photos.  We weren't there.

So, how do I as an art photographer create an image that says something interesting enough, is memorable enough, for the viewer to linger on it, to make a connection?

And how do I disconnect from my own experience of being there when I took it, and not let my feelings cause me to "force" an image into the mix?  

For example, I discovered "Wilson" on a walk in the neighborhood.  I wasn't out hunting for images.  I remember exactly where I was, how I knew to stop and take a photo (I do take a camera with me in my pocket or purse, just in case I run across something interesting), how I wondered about the family that made this rock and put in their yard, and how it reminded me of Tom Hanks' ball in the Castaway movie.

That's a lot of "stuff" that comes up for me when I see this image.  So, I have to try to look at it with fresh eyes.  Is a good image?  What is it saying?  Does it fit with The Observer concept?  Can I print it well?

In this case, the answer was "yes".  "Wilson" will be in the exhibit.

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